Closer to Mobile than Montgomery, wedged between woods and water, is a place nobody goes. Memories and ghosts thrive in present-day Canaan. Widow Sutton’s place is falling down, the Baptist Church congregation dying out. Long ago those declared unworthy were buried outside the cemetery fence. On the hill overlooking Red Hill Creek is a blank grave under a pink dogwood tree. According to folklore, Thomas John Sutton, 14, is buried under.
Thomas loves Esther, but she isn’t accepted in Canaan because of her bastard birth. After discovering the secret of his birth, Thomas fears he’ll be treated the same.
IN MEMORY OF is another example of two teenagers struggling against an unforgiving society in rural Alabama 1933.